HTC One S - Camera, Battery Life and Verdict

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Camera
The HTC One S features the same camera as the HTC

One X, which is an 8MP model with a single LED flash. It’s not a

record-breaker in terms of overall image quality, with HTC still seeming

to be slightly behind the curve when it comes image processing, but the

app is great. HTC has put both the shutter and record buttons right on

the main screen, so you don’t have to switch modes. In fact, you can

even take snaps while recording video and shoot loads of frames in a row

at the touch of a button, so you can pick out the best shot. There are

also a host of effective and fun filters, such as Sepia, Dots and

Vintage, and a number of useful extra shooting modes, including a

slightly iffy HDR one and a rather more impressive panorama one.


As ever, it’s in low light that image quality is really shown up, with a

lack of colour and a lot of obvious graininess. Again, this seems

largely to be down to the processing HTC applies. A powerful LED helps

considerably make up for these shortcomings within a range of two or

three metres, though.

HTC One S Camera - Outdoor Skyline Good Lighting
On a bright day colours are reasonably vivid though shadow detail is lost.

HTC One S Camera - Outdoor Skyline Dull Lighting
On a dull day the phone really struggles to pull and colour from the scene.

HTC One S Camera - Outdoor Skyline Panorama
The panorama mode is useful and effective.

HTC One S Camera - Outdoor Plants
Despite the dull outdoor lighting, the HTC One S does a decent job of bringing these flowers to life.

Video

can be recorded in up to 1080p resolution and the quality is pretty

decent. Much the same rules apply as for stills when it comes to

shooting in dark conditions but the LED helps out again at short range

(its effect range is actually slightly less, at around one to two

metres). Overall, particularly when viewed on a smaller screen you get a

very acceptable picture. What’s more you can apply a number of the

colourising filters in real time. And did we mention you can take

pictures while filming!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1snkdA-_xJ4

There’s

also an included Movie Editor. This lets you easily put together a

themed video from your video clips and pictures. It works rather well

though there are only three themes to choose from, which limits its

usefulness considerably.

Battery Life
The HTC One S

uses a 1650mAh battery that’s not user replaceable. This is slightly

larger than the average battery of last year’s top Android phones, and

combined with more cunning power management on the part of the phone’s

processor, battery life is noticeably better. We’re still talking lights

out after a couple of days (i.e. charge every other night) but at least

you won’t be forced to top up every evening.

Verdict
The

HTC One S is a really difficult phone to judge. On the one hand its

plasma-etched and super-slim design, fast processor, decent screen and

good camera all add up to make this a major improvement over top phones

of last year and certainly competitive with many current handsets. But,

on the other hand, that plasma finish may not be as tough as first

thought, it only packs 16GB of storage and the AMOLED screen is far from

perfect.

Ultimately, the only compelling reason to get this

phone rather than the HTC One X (more storage, much better screen) is

the slightly smaller screen on this handset. The One X’s 4.7in frame is

pretty large so the 4.3in One S is noticeably easier to grasp. But, it’s

not like the One S is exactly small anyway, so we’d still go for the

bigger of the two.

Score in detail

  • Performance 9
  • Camera 7
  • Design 9
  • Usability 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 8
  • Screen Quality 8
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